Pi Attitude Zone: Connectivity & Drive

Miami, Earthly Paradise For Latinos

They say Paris is where good Americans go when they die. Miami is like Paris for Latin Americans, who speak of “My Yammi” with a wistful sigh and a flutter of the eyelids, as if it were some kind of Heaven on Earth.

Pi believes that all the really interesting places on earth are where races, colors, beliefs, languages, cuisines and tastes collide, and then collude. Xenophobia is rarer in countries whose populations are dominated by immigrants. Puerto Rico and Panama, for instance, are cheerful ‘melting pots’, given their kaleidoscopic racial and linguistic mix. New York used to be like that, though it has more recently been described as “White people in brown shoes exchanging suspicious looks with brown people in white shoes” -- the different groups there seem to slide sullenly past each other like oil and water in a Petri dish, even within ethnicities.

This may have something to do with socio-economic stratification, or perhaps the concentration of a large population in a small and high-priced piece of real estate. (By the way, has anyone ever noticed the unusually high concentration of “Star Trek” fans in New York City? Pi’s theory is that Trekkies click with that venerable TV show’s real underlying themes, i.e. [a] the very American concept of obedience to authority and [b] the ultimate impossibility of any real accommodation with aliens, however liberal your attitudes). 

By comparison with NYC, Miami is physically big and spread out, and everyone rubs along pretty well. You’ll hear Spanish in ten different dialects, (some mutually incomprehensible), plus Portuguese, French and its Creole derivatives — most taxi drivers are from Haiti — and Russian. Oh, and English, though it’s not always immediately recognizable as such; interestingly, Miami is one of the few places where you will encounter American citizens making a serious effort to speak a foreign language, whether it be Spanish or, of course, English itself.

What makes Miami such a terrific place”, goes the local joke, “is that it’s so close to the USA”. So true.  Miami as a city is a kaleidoscope of different cultures, languages, shopping habits, tastes, and diets. Burger King vies for your lunch-money with Pollo Tropical (spicy chicken, yellow rice, fried bananas and salsa) and the Caribbean and Cuban-style eateries, serving rice, beans, ‘yuca’, fried plantains and roast pork. Oh, and you should try the “Vaca Frita”. It means “Fried Cow”.

Zone: Connectivity & Drive Country: USA / North America Product – Other